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The Propane tank can be found throughout both Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. An in-game propane tank is presented in the form of an everyday bottled propane gas canister most commonly associated with domestic heaters and barbecue grills. They show up very frequently in Survival Mode.

They can be picked up with the Use key (default: "E" for PC or "X" for Xbox 360) and will blow up with an explosion similar to that of a pipe bomb when shot. Like the oxygen tank, this weapon is commonly used during finales in order to set up traps - in this instance, selecting a weapon or pressing the Use key whilst carrying a Propane Tank causes the tank to simply drop and thus allows it to be placed fairly accurately.

A Propane Tank can also be thrown like a grenade (using the designated USE key) but the distance it travels is relatively short and it must still be set off with a gun shot. Nevertheless, a skilled player can use this ability to even the odds when, for example, a horde is in sight. Like Gas Cans, this weapon can be used to batter Infected with melee. Note that Propane Tanks will explode when enveloped in flame from a Molotov or a burning gas can.

The Propane Tank's blast radius seems to have been increased in the Crash Course DLC.


L4d achievement tank explosion stun.png
Stun a Tank with an explosion in the Crash Course campaign.


  • The explosive power of the Propane Tank is useful for making a Tank stagger and lose his balance. This gives Survivors more time to move. Also, they are very useful when the Tank is on fire, and you want him to succumb to the flames.
  • For a finale, try placing a group of propane tanks in a perimeter around the area you are guarding, this can be an extremely effective means of buying time when you need to heal or grab ammo.
  • Try placing these near the areas where the rescue vehicle shows up during finales, as it can clear the area before you reach the vehicle, giving you a better chance of reaching it on higher difficulties.
  • When shooting the Propane Tank, try to keep your distance because of its large explosion radius.
  • If used as a trap, try to give yourself a clear shot at it. Make sure that you don't have to jump out of a good cover spot to shoot it or else you may get overwhelmed by the Infected and your friends might not be able to save you.
  • When a horde is moving around a propane tank, be sure to time the shooting on the tank so that it is surrounded by the horde. Doing this will make a more efficient use of the Propane Tank. This can make shooting the Propane Tank harder with weaker weapons however, as the horde will block your shots.
  • On the last two chapters of the No Mercy campaign, the propane tank can be used to make a Tank fall off the edge. Propane tanks usually spawn in the unfinished part of the hospital, and sometimes the finale. When a Tank comes near an edge, the propane tank (if placed properly) can knock him off to his death. This tactic is useful on campaigns, especially when playing on Expert, and also Versus, when a Tank rushes.
  • If a Witch is attacking a player, and someone throws a propane tank near her and shoots it, the Witch will lose a great amount of health, get stunned for a few seconds and be pushed back a couple feet. Additionally, the explosion hurts less than her clawing so this will spare that player a few health points and delay the Witch's attack.
  • If you place a lot of them near a Witch and set it off, the Witch can, rarely, remain undisturbed. It happens more frequently when the Witch hits a tree, a car, or when she falls off something.
  • The Propane Tank, like the gas can and the oxygen tank, can be thrown with the "fire" button while holding it.
  • An extremely useful tactic in Left 4 Dead 2 is to get a bile bomb and a propane tank (if possible) and put the propane tank down, then throw a bile bomb somewhere close to it. Then shoot the propane tank. This will eliminate all surrounding infected and will draw any nearby zombies to it. This is extremely useful on expert, but try to shoot the propane tank with a Magnum or a Hunting Rifle to prevent the zombies from blocking it. This is not effective on Left 4 Dead as the only horde drawing player item is a pipe bomb, which explodes by itself.
  • Clustering several propane tanks together can create a massive explosion with a large radius. This can heavily damage a Tank but can also cause massive damage to yourself or teammates if they are too close to the blast.
  • The Grenade Launcher can add to the explosive properties of the propane tank with its own explosion, increasing its potency.
  • The Propane Tank can be used to negate fall damage with its explosive knockback. If you jump from a height while holding a propane tank, drop it below yourself as you fall, and immediately shoot it, the propane tank will explode below you and interrupt your fall, decreasing your velocity and, therefore, the fall damage you receive.
    • Note that you will take damage from the propane tank itself, though this will typically be much less than potential fall damage.


  • Propane tanks first appeared in Half-Life 2 as regular physics objects.
  • Formerly, a bug caused the Chainsaw to crash the game by attacking a Propane Tank.
  • While the propane tank in-game has serious explosive properties in the games, it's worth noting that real life propane tanks are less powerful.
  • If nobody has picked up the Propane Tank, you can push it if you walk over it. However, if one picks it up and drops it, you will not be able to push it by walking over it.



Primary Weapons
Tier 1 Chrome invert.png Chrome Shotgun / Pump invert.png Pump Shotgun / MP5 Invert.png MP5 / Mac10 invert.png Silenced Submachine Gun / Uzi invert.png Submachine Gun
Tier 2 Ak invert.png AK-47 / Icon weapon rifle desert inverted.png Combat Rifle / M16 invert.png M-16 Assault Rifle / SIG Invert.png SG 552 / Auto invert.png Auto Shotgun / Spas12 invert.png Combat Shotgun / AWSM Invert.png AWP / Hunting invert.png Hunting Rifle / Steyr Invert.png Scout / G3 invert.png Sniper Rifle
Special Tier Grenade launcher inverted.png Grenade Launcher / M60Icon.png M60 Machine Gun
Secondary Weapons
Sidearms Pistol inverted.png M1911 Pistol / Deagle invert.png Magnum Pistol / Pistol inverted.png P220 Pistol
Melee Weapons Bat invert.png Baseball Bat / Cricket invert.png Cricket Bat / Crowbar invert.png Crowbar / Axe invert.png Fireaxe / Pan invert.png Frying Pan / GolfClubIcon.png Golf Club / Guitar invert.png Guitar / Katana invert.png Katana / Knife Invert.png Knife / Machete invert.png Machete / Baton invert.png Nightstick / Icon pitchfork inverted.png Pitchfork / Icon shovel inverted.png Shovel
Special Tier Chainsaw invert.png Chainsaw
Other Weapons
Grenades Bile invert.png Bile Bomb / Molotov inverted.png Molotov Cocktail / Pipebomb invert.png Pipe Bomb
Upgrades L4D2 ammo explosive.png Explosive Ammunition / L4D2 ammo incendiary.png Incendiary Ammunition / Laser sight HUD invert.PNG Laser Sight
Fixed Weapons MMG Icon.png Heavy Machine Gun / Minigun icon.png Minigun
Usable Items Explosive Barrel HUD invert.png Explosive barrel / Fireworks icon.png Fireworks / Gas canister HUD invert.png Gas can / Oxytank icon.png Oxygen tank / Propane tank icon.png Propane tank
Special Items Cola.png Cola / Gnome icon.png Gnome Chompski
Featured in both games / L4D1-exclusive / L4D2-exclusive (Counter-Strike weapons / PC-exclusive)